Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Big News!

I think that almost everyone that reads my blog may know this already, but we're having a baby! I'm just finishing up my first trimester and am due January 1st! Since we got sick of referring to the baby as "it" or "the parasite" (it's been making me pretty sick lately...) we decided to name it baby Uno (since it's due on the 1st!).

The first question we get from almost everyone is whether or not we're finding out what we're having...and the answer is that we haven't decided yet! We have our big ultrasound appt in August where we can potentially find out the gender of our child, but until then we'll keep debating the pros and cons of "finding out."

I'm at the end of my first trimester, but so far the "morning" sickness hasn't gone away. I've actually been nauseous all day long, with it being worse at night. I just got some anti-nausea meds to help me out, and they seem to be slightly working, so at least most nights I can get something down and keep it down. I'm hoping this will pass soon, although my mom likes to remind me that she was sick for 5 months with me!

I did manage to eat an entire Chipotle burrito for lunch, along with some chips and guacamole, so even if I can't eat tonight I've probably consumed enough calories for both meals! ;)

Pictured above is our ultrasound from 11.5 weeks - almost 2 weeks ago already! It's hard to believe that baby Uno has all of it's extremities already, but we saw him or her using them to dance for us on the ultrasound! He or she then promptly fell asleep and the ultrasound tech had me coughing and pushing on my stomach to try to wake him up to take measurements.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rice St Pub Crawl 2009

Another year, another successful pub crawl. Here are a few highlights and pics to commemorate the event!

1) The Fett clan, although they claimed they would make the bus for the first time this year, still managed to miss it and had to meet us at the Lamplighter.
2) Lucas, Adam, Laura, and Elena all ran to the Chalet to call the shot for everyone, but ended up working together to make up a shot - they called it the Pub Crawl and it was pure vodka and rum. Yikes!
3) The bartender at Dean's said we were making him thirsty, so he joined us in having a vodka drink. Then he proceeded to hand out lots and lots of baskets of deep fried tacos to our hungry and slightly drunk bunch.
4) Stephen managed to break the official pub crawl timer.
5) Everyone made it over the Rice St bridge (always a concern for us), Lucas led the way in encouraging cars driving under the bridge to honk at us.
6) The bartender at Brady's told us that we weren't as drunk as we were the years previous...
7) Lots of Big Buck Hunter was played - it was by far the most popular video game. We also played quite a few pull tabs, but I believe we collectively only won $2 (which means that we did not come out ahead!).
8) Everyone made it to the final bar! No, the hubby didn't take any cold medicine this year, however, I did end up taking him home a bit earlier than everyone else, which led to...
9) The hosts (us!) being in bed by the time everyone else got back from the bar, so...
10) Everyone partied without us at our house and a good time was had by all. I got up to make them all egg bake the next morning, which I think made up for the fact that we went to bed early!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pub Crawl is in 2 days!!

It's here! Another year of Rice St Pub Crawl! I'm sure we'll have lots of stories and pictures to post after the big event, but right now I'm busy sending the details out to all of the attendees, making up the rules sheets, and heading home to start cleaning our house. Of course, we're celebrating Kristi's thesis defense tomorrow, so we've got lots of pre-pub crawl drinking to get us all warmed up for the big event!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Only use for extreme circumstances...

My first year in the lab I was given a glass bottle of powdered, white material that was simply labeled "Horse anti-SPE A." It was generously parafilmed since the top was not entirely intact. Pat handed it to me and told me to use it only for extreme circumstances, since it's fairly valuable (probably not easy or may even not possible to get a horse to inject SPE A into until it's immune, and then bleed it enough to obtain the antibodies...).

Well, this week, after 5 years in the lab and finishing my Ph.D. project, it was time to pull out the Horse Anti-SPE A. Even though I made SPE A antibodies only a year or two ago (in a rabbit, like all antibodies that we generate in the lab), it seems that they aren't reacting very well anymore. And now that I've tried to make two batches of SPE A toxin and haven't gotten any reaction using said antibodies, Pat pulled out the glass jar and said to try that to see if I can get a reaction.

It worked - but only on my positive control of wild type toxin, which means the second prep of mutant SPE A was no good. So now on to other ways to prep the toxin, which all involve much more work. But at least I can say that I finally got to use the Horse anti-SPE A under extreme circumstances...

Monday, June 08, 2009


The toilet seat was delivered this morning - just in time for Tara's defense! Her explanation of its arrival was pretty great...

"So, one of the technicians comes in and says..."You have a package from Becton Dickinson..Falcon tubes?" And my response was, I didn't order any Falcon tubes. She then says, "Well, it looks personal..." So I go and check it out. And my first thought was, "Minnesota? Who do I know in Minnesota?" And after a millisecond passed, it dawned on me. Mandy! TOILET SEAT! SHE DIDN"T??!!! DID SHE??"

Yes! I did!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Kadner toilet seat

Last summer, I attended the Kadner Institute in Boulder, CO, and met a lot of great fellow microbiologists. My roommate at the Institute, Tara, and I found a toilet seat in the hallway of our hotel that literally remained there the entire week of the Institute. Finally, the last night we stole the toilet seat and hung it on the door of one of our friend's room. That night, there was a lot of talk about keeping the toilet seat in the group and shipping it around as people graduate, get post-docs, get jobs, etc. However, the next morning Tara and I found the toilet seat on OUR door, so if we wanted this to occur one of us was going to have to haul that sucker home. So I did (of course!). Today, I finally pulled the toilet seat out from under my bed (because where else should you store an old, used toilet seat?), brought it into work, and packaged it into a box, dropped it off at the post office, and paid a whopping $25 to ship it down to New Orleans to Tara, who will be defending her thesis next week! Totally worth every penny. Now, hopefully she'll find someone to pass it on to and so on and so forth. As long as it doesn't come back to MN anytime soon!

Monday, June 01, 2009


So I officially started my temporary post-doc with Pat today. I am currently trying not to cuss out my computer while I impatiently wait for some files to be converted to pdfs for an online manuscript submission. Bah! I obviously should have waited to submit the manuscript tomorrow during work so that I wasn't caught here later than I wanted to be. Oh well. At least it will leave things slightly more open tomorrow, which is good since it's the boss's 60th birthday and we will need to celebrate!